Ye Are Gods

This entry is part 23 of 34 in the series 2011C

TEACHER:  There has been a lot of controversy over some doctrines taught by the New Age people who say that they are manifesting God.  Others even say that they are gods, or the sons of God and all the powers of godliness are theirs to enjoy.  The unfortunate thing is that few people believing in this philosophy have ever examined this concept from a scriptural viewpoint.  Those who do believe the Bible have generally condemned any teaching that insinuates that man is or can be a god.  The main grounds for this condemnation comes from the first section of the Bible where the serpent was tempting Eve.  As you may remember Adam and Eve were commanded not to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Shortly afterward the serpent comes along and temps Eve into eating it with these words (Read Genesis 3:5):  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  Since this serpent whom most Christians call the Devil used the lure of becoming gods to tempt Eve we can’t really blame them for thinking he may have been lying can we?

STUDENT:  I guess not.

 

TEACHER:  In fact most fundamentalists call this temptation the Devil’s first great lie and they say that anyone who believes it is deceived by the oldest lie on earth.  Let’s assume that this serpent was totally evil and did want to tempt Adam and Eve away from God.  What produces the strongest temptation:  truth or untruth.

STUDENT:  I’ve never thought about it.

 

TEACHER:  Let us use an example.  If a person is tempted to steal a Porshe.  Is he tempted because the Porshe just appears to be a quality car or because it really is a quality car?

STUDENT:  He is tempted because it is a quality car.

 

TEACHER:  In other words, the grounds for the temptation is something which is true, isn’t that right?

STUDENT:  Yes.

 

TEACHER:  If a man is tempted to have an affair with his good-looking secretary because he thinks it will be pleasurable is he deceived into thinking that pleasure is a possibility, or is no pleasure possible.

STUDENT:  Pleasure is a real possibility.

 

TEACHER:  Again he is tempted by something which is true isn’t he?

STUDENT:  Yes.

 

TEACHER:  A tempter may use false information, but true information is much more powerful and appealing.  There is only one major lie that runs through all temptation.  Can you guess what that is?

STUDENT:  I’m not sure.

 

TEACHER:  It is the sentence:  “You can get away with it.”  If we think we can get away with a harmful act that may bring us personal pleasure or gain then it may seem worth it.  The idea that we can get away with something is always a deception for we always reap what we have sowed, but it does not mean that all the allurements of a temptation are grounded in falsehood.  Now let us examine the temptation of the serpent more closely.  What was the first promise the tempter made in this verse we just read?

STUDENT:  Their eyes would be open.

 

TEACHER:   Let us find out if this came true.  Read what happened after they ate the fruit in verse seven (Read Genesis 3:7):  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew  that they were naked…  Did the serpent’s prediction of their eyes being open come true?

STUDENT:  It seems to.

 

TEACHER:  What was the second item of temptation in this verse five?

STUDENT:  That they should be as Gods, knowing good from evil.

 

TEACHER:  Now let us read a quote from the voice of God himself speaking (Read Genesis 3:22):  And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…  How does God verify that the serpent was telling the truth with this temptation?

STUDENT:  God says that the man became as one of the Gods knowing good from evil.

 

TEACHER:  The serpent also told them that they would not die.  In other words, they would get away with their disobedience.  Was he telling the truth here?

STUDENT:  No.  Adam and Eve did die.

 

TEACHER:  This scripture also tells us that the man is to become as one of “us.”  Now everyone says there is only one God.  Why is the pronoun “us” used?

STUDENT:  It must have been referring to more than one person.

 

TEACHER:  There are several references to God in the plural.  We’ll quote two more. (Read Isaiah 6:8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?  Then said I, here am I; send me.  (Read Ecclesiates 12:1)  Remember thy Creators in the days of thy youth…  [Note:  This is translated as it reads in the Hebrew.  Most Bibles mistranslate Creators as singular for obvious reasons.]  Is God referred to here as one or more than one?

STUDENT:  More than one.

 

TEACHER:  This should not be surprising to anyone who has read the Bible in its original language of Hebrew.  The primary word for God is ELOHIYM which is the plural of ELOWAHH.  The singular ELOWAHH is not even used in the first half of the Bible and rarely after that.  Therefore almost every time you see the word God in the Old Testament it is translated from ELOHYIM and if the translators were honest it should read “Gods.”  The Bible tells us that the Gods created heaven and earth, Adam and Eve and all other things.  Does this help you to understand why God refers to himself as “us.”

STUDENT:  Yes.  If God is plural he would refer to himself as us.

 

TEACHER:  The Bible tells us the position of Jehovah among the many gods. (Read Deuteronomy 10:17  You may also refer to Joshua 22:22)  For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God…    Does it sound like Jehovah is the leader of many gods and lords?

STUDENT:  It seems to.

 

TEACHER:   Let us read another similar verse in Psalms 82:1:  God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.  The Bible tells us that Jeshovah is the God of gods and also that he judges among the gods.  Who do you suppose these gods are that Jehovah is over?

STUDENT:  I’m not sure.

 

TEACHER:  The scriptures make it clear a few verses later (read Psalms 82:6):  I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.  Who is he calling gods here?

STUDENT:  All of us who are children of the most High.

 

TEACHER: The Jews thought Jesus was guilty of blasphemy because he said that he and his Father are one.  They thought he was claiming to be God.  To defend himself he used this scripture from psalms.  (Read John 10:34-36):  Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?  Who did Jesus here say were called Gods?

STUDENT:  Those who received the word of God.

 

TEACHER:  In this scripture Jesus was accused of saying he was God because he said that he and his Father are one.  Now let us read about the destiny of his disciples (Read John 17:11):  Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.   What did Jesus ask on behalf of the disciples?

STUDENT:  That they would be one as Jesus and the Father are one.

 

TEACHER:  And if Jesus was a god because he was one with the Father what would the disciples be for also being one with the Father and Son?

STUDENT:  Gods.

 

TEACHER:  The primary message of Jesus was to preach the kingdom of God.  The question to consider is who are the inhabitants of the kingdom of God?  We may use common sense to figure this out.  The mineral kingdom consists of minerals, the plant kingdom has plants, the animal kingdom has animals and the human kingdom is inhabited by humans.  Therefore, who would inhabit the kingdom of God?

STUDENT:  Gods.

 

TEACHER:  The scriptures tell us the main ingredient necessary to be called a god.  Let us reread an earlier  scripture we talked about. (Read Genesis 3:22):  And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…  What must man know to become as God?

STUDENT:  Good and evil.

 

TEACHER:  The word “know” comes from the Hebrew YADA which can also mean “to discern.”  A person who “knows” or discerns good from evil is usually called a judge.  Let us read a scripture about those who were judges in ancient Israel (Read Exodus 22:8-9):  If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbor’s goods.  For all manner of trespass, whether it be of ox for ass, for sheep, for rainment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbor.  Even though the leaders were judges the word here is mistranslated.  In all three cases the word “judges” comes from ELOHIYM which should be translated as gods.  Why were the leaders, or judges, called gods here?

STUDENT:  Because they were supposed to know good from evil.

 

TEACHER:  One who was supposed to know good from evil was Moses.  Let us read an interesting statement about him. (read Exodus 4:16 & 7:1):  And he (Aaron) shall be thy spokesman unto the people:  and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou (Moses) shalt be to him instead of God [The Hebrew reads:  Thou shalt be to him a god]…I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.  What was Moses called here by Jehovah himself?

STUDENT:  A god.

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TEACHER:  The fact that men are called gods is often covered up by translators.  The next scripture is a good example (read Genesis 23:5-6):  And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him, Hear us, my Lord:  thou art a mighty prince among us…  Again the word “prince” is a mistranslation.  It should read “mighty god.”  Does it seem clear here that men in Bible times were often called gods?

STUDENT:  Yes.

 

TEACHER: Not only are prophets like Moses and Abraham gods, but this promise to become such is available to all.  Let us now read the words of Paul  (Read Romans 8:14-17):  For as many as are lead by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. If we follow the Spirit of God and become the sons of God what do we become heirs to?

STUDENT:   Heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.

 

TEACHER:  Isn’t it logical that a child grows to be like his parent and becomes an heir?

STUDENT:  Yes.

 

TEACHER:  Therefore, if we are truly sons and daughters of God should we not mature into gods?

STUDENT:  It would seem so.

 

TEACHER:  Now let us read an even more interesting passage from Paul  (read Phil 2:5-6):  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.  What mind is supposed to be in us?

STUDENT:  The same that was in Jesus.

 

TEACHER:  And what thought does it say was in Jesus?

STUDENT:  He did not think it robbery to be equal with God.

 

TEACHER:  The apostle John seemed to verify these words  (Read I John 3:2):  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:  but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.   When we see Jesus again what will we discover?

STUDENT:  We will be like him.

 

TEACHER:  What confuses Bible scholars is that there are other scriptures which tell us that there is only one God. If the scriptures we have just read are true then all of us can become gods and it would seem that there is not just one god but an untold number throughout the universe.  Since it seems that both doctrines cannot be true then each religion has to pick either one God or many gods as a correct teaching.  On the other hand, this contradiction gives Bible critics ammunition to claim the Bible is not inspired.   Can you think of a way that there could be one God, but also many gods?

STUDENT:  I’m not sure.

 

TEACHER:  Believe it or not this is exactly what the Bible teaches.  It is also the foundation of all metaphysical belief.  The Apostle Paul explained what Christ is which is the same as explaining what God is.  Let us read this scripture (Read I Corinthians  12:12:  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:  so also is Christ.  According to this scripture is Christ or God merely the man Jesus or is it composed of many members?

STUDENT:  It is composed of many members.

 

TEACHER:  The scriptures plainly tell us that the body is composed of not just one superbeing, but many members.  Just think of how many members are in your body.  You have all the different limbs and organs and smaller units called cells that make up the whole.   Do you have any idea how many cells there are in your body?

STUDENT: A lot

 

TEACHER: The average person has about 80 trillion cells. Some religions teach that the universe is the body of God. Does it seem possible that there may be 80 trillion or more people who are a part of the body of God?

STUDENT: It is possible.

 

Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey

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